tv [untitled] January 7, 2012 8:01pm-8:31pm PST
their -- how the system works and that there needs to be a signal-to-noise ratio for proper operation of their design for the equipment for the system. and in fact that's what we measured. when we went out and took these measurements in this area, in these neighborhoods, we were measuring the strength of the pilot signal. this is the signal that the phones communicate with that is a reference for the two-way communication that goes on between the phone and the antenna and then we also measure the amount of noise that's in the band, the pilot signal is 10%, so when there is 10 times as much noise, whether it's existing facilities actively using the network or true noise coming in from an outside source, whatever that is, when it reached that point, it is at capacity. and that's what we measured when we went to each of these points, trying to get a representative sample over this area, that at 85% of the points, the noise
coming from existing users or perhaps some other source overwhelming the ability of the system to handle additional traffic. supervisor campos: one of the points they also make is this notion that in looking at some of the sites, the four sites that are in the vicinity, that there was no consideration for replacing those sites or perhaps upgrading the technology in those sites as a way of addressing any coverage or capacity issues. did you guys consider that? >> no, we did not. our role, as outside people, was to come in, go into the market on our own and determine, is there really a necessity in this area and what we found is that there is a capacity limit that is reached in this market. that was our role. we didn't examine what it would be from other sites. supervisor campos: isn't that part of the analysis to some extent in the sense that if you already have -- i mean, one of
the things that the -- i mean, going back to the -- the guidelines that section 8.1 has, there are five different possible locations, right? and one of those is the -- the co-location which is number 2 as a possible desired location. isn't that part of the analysis? >> that's not part of the analysis that we do as independent people coming in to evaluate an existing condition. we have not designed their networks, we're not privy to their internal data. our role is to simply look at this. there may be someone else at at&t who can address that but that was not within our task. supervisor campos: that raises the question of what is the relevance of that because you do have in the guidelines that are promulgated if section 8.1, one
of the things that is identified is the desire of a co-location. so i'm wondering what at&t has to say in response to that. >> and i'll turn the microphone back to at&t. but let me point out there, i think ms. rodgers was right on when she said that those are separate issues. one is, is there necessity, is the system, as presently configured, running at capacity, and that's a separate issue from how you go about identifying a site that can overcome that and provide additional capacity. >> if you don't understand mind, supervisor, i have gordon, can answer that for you. here. >> good afternoon, i'm gordon spencer with at&t. i guess it's kind of a general question but there are several aspects that go into the design of the network, not least of which is the traffic engineering that's done on a national basis and a local basis. we also look at the other sites
in the area, see what we can do to upgrade those. those are separate projects. those also tend to come under the c.e.u. process so we are doing all of those things. sites of our antenna is never ideal because of all the limitations in the city, in this case, as many others, it's not ideal, but it does satisfy our needs for improving the capacity of the network in this particular area. supervisor campos: thank you. president chiu: supervisor weiner? supervisor wiener: thank you. question of planning. there was interesting colloquy between supervisor campos and at&t over who has what burden in terms of submitting information, so i guess my question is, my understanding and maybe i'm wrong, does planning provide criteria to cell phone companies about what kinds of things they
should submit or need to submit in order to carry their burden? so, for example, with the -- in terms of data versus a map versus whatever, does planning provide guidance to cell phone carriers so they're not shooting in the dark? >> yes, we do provide guidance on a number of materials. we do have, on our website, it's called an application check list for conditional use applications for these facilities and it goes through many things like the five-year plan, the locational preferences, if there's cumulative effects. it goes on and on, but it does not say, to satisfy the commission on capacity, you should provide x, y or z. to date, they've been satisfied with the maps they've received. supervisor wiener: since it seems like this board has expressed other than repeatedlyn
about there not being independent data to evaluate, that concern keeps coming up over and over and over again in different forms, has the planning department, planning commission, ever considered setting up a system which would be cross neutral, i think, to the planning department, because at&t would be billed for it or whatever cell carrier is at issue, so that when the planning commission acts, it's based on actual data and independent analysis of whether a significant gap in coverage exists or does not exist. >> the commission, to date, has been frustrated, i guess, with the process, and staff relays to them every week the actions of the board and why the board takes certain actions to either uphold the c.e.u. or disapprove so every week they get feedback of the board's actions relative
to the c.e.u. operations. the commission and our department director are pursuing ways that might be changed in the future for the better but at this point the commission feels under the present criteria that they're applying the c.e.u. criteria appropriately and adequately so they're frustrated. supervisor wiener: is there an estimated time table of when that process change might happen? a year, six months? >> not at this point. supervisor wiener: five years? >> it would really depend on, you know, as you know, to move anything through the public process, it would depend on the demand from both the legislators, the commission and the public as to what level of process is necessary. it's something that could conceivably have a technical solution relatively quickly but whether that is, you know, like the level of public process necessary to bring something forward for approval by this body could be quite large.
supervisor wiener: although couldn't that just be a policy change by the planning department to say, as part of this check list, you need, subject to a confidentiality agreement, provide us underlying data that an expert will look at. >> yes, that could be a simple change. supervisor wiener: i'm not talking necessarily about legislative changes but that seems to be the issue causing consternation at this board and however this appeal is resolved, we've seen it week after week, so i would encourage that so it doesn't happen on an ad hoc basis at this board based on who has the votes on what night, so that it becomes a more consistent process. >> i can relay that to the planning commission. supervisor wiener: my other question, if this board rejects this c.e.u., can an applicant apply again immediately? >> i believe that there needs to
be a one-year waiting period before the same c.e.u. can be brought before the planning commission. supervisor wiener: and that would be the same address, the same everything? >> for this address. supervisor wiener: ok, thank you. president chiu: any further questions, colleagues? thank you very much for your presentation. why don't we hear, now, from members of the public that wish to support the project sponsor. if you could line up on the right-hand side of the chamber and please step up. are there any members of the public that wish to speak in support of the project sponsor? ok. seeing none at this time, why don't we go to the appellate for a rebuttal of up to three minutes. >> thank you. i just wanted to point out that the reason we brought up
information, it was to point out that they do make mistakes. i was a corporate auditor for many years before becoming a real estate broker and i'm trained to look at inconsistencies and i found several of those and that's how i just wanted to point out, i do know that coordinations are people, too -- corporations are people, too, and as such, they make mistakes. that's what it was. i wasn't trying to smear their name or reputation in any way, shape or form. i would like to point out, the statement of gordon spencer, he states that basically he talks about making this determination according to the report, at&t uses signal to noise information to identify the areas in the network with capacity restraints limits service, uses signal to noise information is one method but it is not the only method you can use. radio frequency signals are subject to interference, or noise, and the federal
communications mandates that commercial wireless networks and devices must accept interference. one would expect that armed with this information at&t would identify all of the sources of the noise interference with the full documentation including at&t's own network base stations and nonnetwork noise sources and two, once identified, down to the physical source of noise and interference, abate the interference by deredacting all of the signals. they're saying we're in a room full of people, two people shout because there's all this noise and all of a sudden everyone will shout because they cannot hear each other. why don't we turn down the noise? and i don't think at&t, according to mr. spencer's report, they're not managing their network the right way. they just want to slap around antenna -- i'm sorry -- they prefer to place antennas all over the city instead of managing their network better.
i'm not sure if i have more time, i wanted to say a couple of things. >> put one thing up. i want to address it. this is their after picture? do i have it upside down still? in their original c.u.p. they sent to the planning commission, they identified holly park as one of the areas where they needed to upgrade coverage. if you look at the map you have in front of you, this doesn't address holly park. 2g, 3g, 4g, none of it addresses all of the folks they want to address. it's not the right site, it's not right plan. >> we love technology. technology is a part of our life. we're not against at&t. i'm an addict of the iphone. an expansion of wireless services should be allowed when there is a true need from the communities affected the most. we all agree that san francisco should be leader in technology but we can't continue with this approach. we should not allow wireless
companies to focus on reaping short term -- president chiu: thank you very much. colleagues, any final questions to the appellate? ok. and colleagues, any final questions to any of the parties in today's hearing? seeing none, at this time, the hearing has been held and closed. colleagues, these matters are in the hands of the board. supervisor campos? supervisor campos: thank you very much, mr. president, and once again, i want to thank the parties, the appellate as well as at&t for their presentation and what i think has been a very interesting discussion. i think that -- i know that i speak for many of my colleagues when i say that it's been very difficult and at times frustrating to deal with these kinds of issues. and, you know, for me, one of the things that clearly stands out and not only this discussion relative to this property but
different discussions, is that we, as a city, need to find a better way to deal with these issues. and i hope that we have an opportunity to do that because i do believe that it would be important for us to find a different strategy, a different approach, so that there is a more consistent outcome and more systemic result as these matters come before us. but this matter is before us and for me, the overarching issue is the question of whether or not at&t has made its case, whether or not at&t has demonstrated and the evidence supports a finding that this is necessary and desirable. if the conditional use is not granted, is rejected, at&t would have to appeal that and make a showing that in fact there was substantial evidence that in fact there was necessity and
desirability here. i don't believe that based on just what has been presented to us by the planning commission, based on the additional evidence that has come from the appellants, including evidence from their expert as well as the evidence from at&t, that a case of necessity has been made. i believe it still remains to be seen whether or not the location of these antennas is truly necessary. i don't believe that the evidence supports that finding at this point. the statements that i see from the planning commission in my opinion, you know, with all due respect to planning, those statements are conclusory statements. there isn't enough evidence to actually justify them. there is, to the extent that there is a lack of coverage or a lack of capacity, i don't believe that case has been made.
i understand that at&t is simply doing what has been requested of it by the planning commission, planning department, and in that sense, to the extent that we are -- that i'm disagreeing with the approach, i'm disagreeing not so much with what at&t has presented or done, but i'm disagreeing with the level of evidence of information that has been requested by planning. i do believe that that data needs to be included so that there is an independent assessment or at least a showing of the need for the placement of the antennas. i also believe that there are some technical issues that remain outstanding. we heard from the expert that the appellate hired that there is no technical definition of a significant gap in coverage. i do believe that that is relevant to the issue of necessity. there may be a difference of opinion of that. i do think that, on the issue of
necessity and desirability, looking at the character of the neighborhood is also relevant, is also important, and i worry that not enough attention was paid to some of the alternative locations, which, to me, is also connected to the issues that we have raised. so for that reason, i make a motion to table item 41 and approve items 42 and 43, and with respect to item 43, request the clerk of the board to prepare findings along the lines that i have indicated regarding the issue of necessity. so i make that motion. president chiu: supervisor campos has made the motion to reserve the certification. is there a second of that motion? seconded by supervisor mar.
discussion, supervisor weiner? supervisor wiener: yes. i won't repeat what i said before about continuing frustration here about not actually having independent analysis of the data, and supervisor campos makes some good arguments. at&t makes some good arguments, as well. i'm going to make a motion to amend along the lines of the motion that i made last week, distributing the same language where we would reject the c.e.u -- an amendment to item 42 which would be moved as amended -- to reject the c.e.u. but then to impose a different c.e.u. with all the same conditions plus the additional condition that at&t, at its own cost, submit underlying data, to an independent expert selected by planning based on input by the parties who have signed a confidentiality agreement and then that independent expert
would provide an opinion one way or the other, whether there's a significant gap in coverage. if there is a significant gap in coverage, then the project will move forward. if there is not a significant gap in coverage, the project would not move forward and we would at least be basing it on objective data, so that is my motion to amend. president chiu: so supervisor weiner has made a motion to amend the c.e.u. is there a second to supervisor weiner's motion? seconded by supervisor cohen. supervisor wiener: and i will submit that language to the clerk. president chiu: any discussion on the motions? supervisor campos. supervisor campos: thank you very much, president chiu, and i thank supervisor weiner for making that motion. i understand where the motion is coming from and i understand that, in some respects, it's consistent with some of the things that have happened before, but i will respectfully
disagree with the motion because my view of this issue is that, to the extent that we have questions about the need for these antennas going up, and specifically, to the extent that we have questions about whether or not, objectively, there can be a justification to place these -- and it's clear that we have questions because we're asking for an independent -- a third party to come in and look at that question. from my perspective, to the extent that that question is out there, the thing is to do is not to grant the conditional use and then wait for the evidence and the findings to be made. i think it's the other way around. i think that ultimately when a party is requesting the approval of a conditional use, that party actually has to make a showing first. so i don't believe that we can
grant the conditional use without first knowing whether or not, objectively, it is necessary. so i actually agree with the intent and the spirit of what supervisor weiner is saying, i think it makes a great deal of sense. but to me, we should do that, but approach it the other way around, that the burden should be on at&t to show that a c.u. is appropriate and that we should approve it once and if that finding is made. but not before. so it's a different take on what supervisor weiner is proposing and so i would speak against the motion to amend, and my hope is that out of this deliberation, that what can happen, if we do reject the conditional use, is that it will prompt a more cohesive and more systemic approach that actually provides the planning department the
additional tools and, quite frankly, the additional resources it needs to verify a lot of this technical information. and that's what i hope comes out of this deliberation. president chiu: colleagues. any further discussion on the various motions that we have? if not, why don't we take roll call votes on the motions in the orders in which they were made, first on supervisor campos' motion to reverse the certification. >> the other way around. caller:.o amend first. president chiu: motion to amend first. madam clerk, please call the roll. clerk: supervisor elsbernd - aye farrell aye, kim, no, mar, no, mirkarimi, no, weiner aye,
avalos, no, supervisor campos, no. president chiu, aye, supervisor chu, aye, cohen, aye. there are six aye's and five no's. president chiu: given that that would have required eight votes to impose the additional -- i'm sorry, my understanding was that we were imposing additional conditions which would require eight votes? so it's a six-vote threshold.